God’s love creates ‘extreme makeover’
One recent afternoon, a group of determined individuals made their way to a home in Santa Maria, California. To an outsider, it must have seemed strange to see a crew of ten people “stealthily’” carrying pots, pans, furniture and food inside.
However, for the crew representing The Salvation Army Santa Maria Corps and Community Center, it was just another great day at work.
It all started with an idea from Captain Adriana Bradley, the Santa Maria corps officer, to get furniture for a needy family. “The Jimenez family has had their share of troubles. For example, due to their unfortunate financial circumstances, they were forced to live in a very small home for a time. It only had two rooms total to house their family of six. Yet they continued on bravely, sending their eldest daughter to college, making sure that their youngest participated in many of the activities at the corps (including nursing home visits and holiday food basket preparations), without ever complaining about their difficult situation. They are truly an example to us all.”
So when the Santa Maria Corps found out that the Jimenez’ were moving into a larger home, but had little furniture, they immediately went into action to assist them. Secretly, the corps put out the word that the family needed furniture, and that they were also going to create a team to help arrange and decorate the new home. “The results were overwhelming,” Bradley excitedly recalled.
The community, business and individuals alike, gave and then gave some more. One advisory board member purchased new bedding for the master bedroom. Numerous furniture stores offered steep discounts on items, or gave the corps furniture for free. Donations totaling over $5,500 dollars were collected to help buy furnishings for the family.
“In order to keep the multitude of the gifts a secret, we told Mr. and Mrs. Jimenez that we had one or two items that we needed to deliver, and to give us the key to their home so that we could do it while the kids were at school, and they were at work,” stated the captain.
It took right up until the Jimenez’ came home that evening for the makeover to be finished, but when it was, they were so moved and surprised, that they could barely hold back the tears. “Never could I have imagined someone would provide for us in this way,” said Mrs. Jimenez tearfully.
“We can’t compete with the amazing transformations that the Extreme Home Makeover show has produced, but we can be an example of God’s love, and show that with a little time and effort, we can help each other, one neighbor at a time,” concluded Bradley